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Showing posts from October, 2009

Elizabeth Bathory - The Blood Countess

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Notorious Hungarian noblewoman Elizabeth Bathory was called the "Bloody Countess." To stay young, she tortured and bathed in the blood of hundreds of young women. Eastern European history is rife with nobility whose propensity for carnage, cruelty, and bloodshed are unequalled. Even some, like Countess Elizabeth Bathory, were rumored to be vampires. Her heinous crimes, when finally revealed, included torture, murder, and alleged blood drinking. Born in 1560, “Erzebet” (Elizabeth) Bathory was a child of wealth and privilege whose closest relatives became cardinals, prime ministers, and kings. Unfortunately, other members of her large family tree also dabbled in the black arts, diabolism, lesbianism, and habitual promiscuity. Supposedly, none of these “pastimes” were kept secret from the impressionable Elizabeth while growing up. Her renowned beauty and stature made her a valuable commodity for political alliances. By age 11, she was betrothed, and at age 15

13th Century Shoe

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Archaeologists discovered a single shoe made of sheepskin in Magdeburg Germany. The moist soil in which it lay helped preserve it for 800 years. This find gives scientists and archaeologists information about how shoemakers made shoes during the middle ages. The leather was pulled tight over a block and then sewn together. It was then turned to produce the seam. Finally, the wings were turned around and shaped into a shoe. To preserve the 800-year-old shoe, it will be soaked in a chemical solution for two weeks and then freeze-dried after soaking in a lab in the state museum in Saxony-Anhalt. This will preserve the shoe and keep it safe for exhibition.

Coffee's Rich History

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The history of coffee has a rich and fascinating tradition, resulting in gourmet coffee available to you in your kitchen or at your favorite coffee house. Coffee dates back to the 9th century. Today, a good cup of coffee ties our world together in ways that are truly amazing through the years. The Origin of Coffee No one knows how coffee was discovered. One popular legend says coffee was discovered by an Arabian shepherd named Kaldi who found his goats prancing around a shrub bearing bright red fruit. He tasted the fruit and experienced the same energy. Kaldi shared his discovery with the local monks, and they used the fruit to stay awake during long hours of prayer. The "mysterious red fruit" spread to monasteries all over the world, starting the relationship between the church and coffee that has lasted for centuries. Coffee is mentioned in writings as early as the 10th century, and historians since then have followed coffee's history and use throughout the w